By now, you’ve probably heard that Hobby Lobby, the “closely-held” chain of craft stores, has been ordered to pay $3 million in fines and return 5,500 stolen artifacts smuggled out of Iraq. The intention seems to be to use them in their soon-to-be-opened Museum of the Bible in DC.
That activity doesn’t seem to square with Hobby Lobby’s self-image as a wholesome company, one so averse to sin that it headed to the Supreme Court over the ACA’s birth control mandate–and won. How, after all, could paying for employee health insurance that include pregnancy prevention (not abortion, despite Hobby Lobby’s claims about how IUDs work) be MORE of a sin that buying stolen goods from a nation we chose to bomb? Especially given that smuggled artifacts are lucrative business for terrorists? While we don’t know that Hobby Lobby’s items came from criminal enterprises that support terrorist organizations, the people who steal and sell such goods never have wholesome intentions.
For those scratching their heads and Hobby Lobby’s willful ignorance of the law and the company’s choice to ignore its own consultant on the matter, here is the difference:
The company did not want to offer insurance that includes IUD coverage, even though this harms women.
The company did want to own the items it bought, even though this harms cultures and contributes to international crime.
In other words, the principled stance of Hobby Lobby is that it does what it wants.